Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Summerhill Estate Winery, Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan Inc., Kelowna, BC, Canada

It was mostly sunny today in the Okanagan valley, so hey why not try one of the area's many wineries. So we visited Summerhill Pyramid Winery which is south of downtown Kelowna on the east side of the Okanagan Lake. This winery has amazing views of the lake and has...yes a very large pyramid. We took the short tour (maybe 1 hour)which took us past the fermentation tanks and into the pyramid where their wines finish the aging process. This vineyard believes the perfect geometry of the pyramid improves the quality of their wine. You will have to be the judge. Also during the tour we learned that this vineyard produces strictly organic wines and won several international awards. At the end of the tour we were provided a tasting of their sparkling wine, Gew├╝rztraminer, Merlot and an ice wine. All their wines were very good and came with excellent information provided by our tour guide which added to enjoying them even more. This winery is worth the visit.

What goes better with good wine than good cheese, so next we headed to Carmelis Goat Cheese dairy. This is located further south along the lake in an area of a forest fire that occurred a couple years ago. The dairy is situated on the side of a steep hill overlooking the lake and the city of Kelowna in the distance. This dairy produces many specialized cheeses and as well as goat milk gelatano. We tried several cheeses starting with the lighter and mildest (more spread like)and continued to their hardier aged cheeses ending with their Gorgonzola. This cheese was not as strong as most Gorgonzolas and had lots a great flavor. This was my favorite. Next we purchased a small cup of their gelato which was very creamy and good. In addition, they also offer tours of their cheese making facility so you get to see the whole process from milking to aging the cheeses. Although the person helping us was not very friendly, if you like unique cheeses and, of course, gelato or you are interested in the cheese making process, then I would recommend a visit.

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